WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder retained his title tonight after earning a 10th round TKO win over Luis Ortiz from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY in front of approximately 14,000 people. It was tough to predict a winner prior to the fight as Ortiz had the more extensive amateur background and technical boxing skill. However, at 38 years old, it was easy to question whether Ortiz would be able to compete with Wilder's athleticism and long reach.
Initially, it seemed that Wilder was overcautious of Ortiz as they circled the ring. Wilder seemed unable to connect with the jab and did not do any damage with his right hand in the earlier rounds. In fact, Ortiz began landing the left hand, and Wilder turned the tables in the 5th round upon landing two big right hands and sending Ortiz to the canvas.
After being battered and nearly knocked out in the 7th round, Wilder recovered and knocked out Cuban powerhouse Ortiz with big right hands in the 10th round. It was an action-packed fight with a surprise ending as Wilder appeared to be very vulnerable entering the 8th round. Ortiz could have easily finished Wilder, but it was as though he gassed out and failed to go for the kill.
With this win, Wilder remains undefeated at 40-0 (39 KOs) and gave Ortiz the first loss of his career, as his record fell to 28-1 (24 KOs). This is the signature win Wilder needed to earn a shot at unifying all four major heavyweight belts against the winner of Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker on March 31st in Cardiff, Wales. Wilder is hungry for the chance to become the undisputed heavyweight world champion, and he feels that his win over Ortiz has solidified his position at the top of the division.